Living more actively

Did you ever feel like the class buffoon, because you said the things or asked the questions that everyone else was thinking? I did, and ended up feeling singled out, not always because of my obvious impairments. Kids are surprisingly perceptive, and often saw me as I was, rather than how I thought I looked.

I did, and do, have unusual priorities, many of which are still being shaped today by “older” expectations: to be good, be no bother, be easy to get along with, be amenable. These expectations are remarkably pacific and keep me sitting. In with the mix, there have also grown newer expectations shaped by being a wife – be thoughtful, think before you speak, don’t judge – and a mother – be kind, listen first, then speak, hold back on that ol’ judgement, because often you forget that younger folk see things more charitably than you do.

But mixed in with those expectations which I could label as “being careful” a whole new bunch has become clearer to me since lately becoming obsessed with “Supernanny” and picking up some of Jo’s parenting tips. Nothing I could point the finger at, particularly, just a feeling that life is too valuable and precious to sit around here all day “being good” and thus failing to live my life to the full and enjoy it as much as I can. There may be limits on what I can do, but many of these can be overcome, and are imposed on me by my own sense of inadequacy.

I have Jo to thank for demonstrating that I can, and should, get out more, see more and do more. It seems to me today, that the best advice I can give myself now is to get out there and experiment with living more actively. It’s no good expecting the world to turn up at my doorstep. I have to take my world outside, where people can meet it.

Thanks for listening.

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